Whoever, whatever you are; if you use a computer, the first and foremost rule you should follow is *backup* your data all the time! I was out to Bangalore (INDIA) as our team is planning to spread our research wing there. But when I returned to Mumbai, I realized that the Hard Disc of my IBM Thinkpad R51 have crashed!

Well, I didn't panicked as much as I did about 6 years ago when I lost a whole drive (8GB) of data and everything else in it. I use the *Mini Hard Drive 60GB USB 2.0* from "iOmega (iOmega)":http://www.iomega.com/ as my primary back-up device for and a secondary *400GB External Drive* from "Seagate (Seagate)":http://www.seagate.com/ for the overall back-up (this also serves as the back-up of the primary back-up too).

I somehow lost coupla new registration entries which I did during the weekend as the crashed happen between 2 days of back-up schedule (as the login credentials went away with the Keepass database). No e-mails, no project data were lost, nothing critical was lost. E-mails have a back-up on the hosting server for 7 days offset before it goes deleted, and for the project data, subversion from "cvsdude.org (CVSDude)":http://www.cvsdude.org/ is the god-send service.

I have been thinking of investing in a *2GB USB 2.0 Mini USB Drive* from iOmega or the "Pocket Hard Drive (Pocket Hard Drive)":http://www.seagate.com/products/retail/pocket from Seagate so that I can have the most critical daily operational datas on them. The iOmega mini drive would be better worn along with a Neck-Chain! Ben Forta blogged about "Backup for Workgroups (Backup for Workgroups)":http://backup-for-workgroups.com/ software coupla weeks back.

*Lesson learnt*

* Whatever, Thou Shall Backup everyday; and Back-up Whenever Your Computer is Free!
* Always have a minimum of 2 parallel Back-ups
* If possible have multiple back-ups at multiple places, just in case natural disaster strikes (Mumbai Flash Flood in India, Katrina in New Orleans)

*Ultimate Softwares that come to my rescue*

* "Keepass (Keepass)":http://keepass.sourceforge.net/ from which I could use all my login credentials.
* "Bounceback Professional (Bounceback Professional)":http://www.cmsproducts.com/product_bounceback_software.htm, the standard version would still do fine if you are not looking for versioning back-up and some other features which I never used! BounceBack Express came free with the Seagate 400GB External Drive.

* The cost of Disc Space these days is very cheap, thus investing in some good back-up solution will really be a good decision you'll ever make.
* Call me paranoid, but I suggest always carry a portable back-up even if you have your NoteBook with you.

To my clients, friends and everybody else, if you have mailed me and if the reply is delayed, I am trying to get to my feet with a new Thinkpad R52. I haven't lost any data and thus will be up sooner than later!